Linden Lab / Second Life
The Second Life websites are an essential part of the Second Life experience. As Web Program Manager, I oversaw all web development projects at Linden Lab, from large to small.
I took a broad view of the vast web product development happening at Linden Lab. I focused on large projects such as the complete site redesign, development processes such as adding a standard web release schedule, and small projects such as adding sharing features to the web and software applications.
Complete website redesign
When I arrived at Linden Lab, the website redesign project was already over a month late, and it had yet to launch. The project had multiple dispirited dev teams working simultaneously, and required leadership to bring them in line and guide the different components to launch. I worked with each team and our VP of Web to troubleshoot, define a new, realistic launch date, and keep scope creep in check. Once we had a new date, we launched on time and with no hitches. And then we celebrated.
Social initiative, and acquisition of Avatars United
We created the Social Initiative to enable and encourage users to easily share their amazing experiences in Second Life with their friends and peers. Before we started, this was surprisingly difficult.
To jumpstart the initiative, we acquired the firm Enemy Unknown, which brought with it a loyal fan/customer base and a product built around social sharing. I guided the AU team as they joined the Linden Lab team, helping them get up to speed with our agile development process, and working with them to define the integration of their product with ours.
Our accomplishments included:
- Adding social sharing features to the Second Life software product
- Modifying the architecture of locations within Second Life so they can be easily shared with outside users
- Surfacing SL profiles to the web (instead of only being available within the software application)
- Inclusion of automated testing and test-driven development, thereby shortening the time required to launch
Web-based sidebar within Second Life application
Second Life is a software application instead of a web application, which means product updates rarely happen. We changed the sidebar within the software to be web-based, which then allowed us to make updates to the sidebar whenever we wanted instead of waiting for a software update. This was a huge win. I guided the project from concept, to design, to dev and launch, ensuring the product was fully localized and bug-free.
- Integration of Avatars United user profiles with Second Life
- Web-based sidebar in Second Life application